Ricciardo wins in Sepang after Hamilton failure
Daniel Ricciardo scored his fourth career Formula 1 win after fending off Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen in the closing laps of a dramatic Malaysian Grand Prix.
The Australian held second spot for the majority of the race before he inherited the lead when long time leader Lewis Hamilton suffered an engine failure on lap 41.
Hamilton seemed on course to complete a comfortable victory having built an 18 second lead as the race ticked into the final quarter.
The Mercedes driver had earlier taken full advantage of an opening lap collision involving title rival Nico Rosberg, Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Verstappen to open up an advantage over Ricciardo.
The Brit’s engine failure caused a Virtual Safety Car period which saw the Red Bulls of Ricciardo and Verstappen, who had been fighting over second place, pit for soft tyres.
Verstappen appeared to have the advantage on the Australian prior to the stop having made two previous pitstops leaving the Dutchman with fresher rubber.
However, in a straight fight to the flag Ricciardo held his nerve to take the victory by 2.4s from Verstappen with Nico Rosberg third after fighting back from a spin and a 10 second penalty.
“It was a race of challenges as Lewis got the lead and then had his problems,” said Ricciardo, who marked the victory with his customary ‘shoey’ celebration on the podium.
“It went the other way in Monaco but I will take this today. It has been a pretty emotional two years since the last win as we have come so close this year.
“I’m extremely grateful for this, it is overwhelming to say the least.”
Rosberg produced an impressive comeback drive after he was turned around by Vettel at Turn 1 on the opening lap.
The Ferrari driver dived down the inside of Verstappen at the start which saw the pair touch before further contact with Rosberg.
The incident saw Vettel retire while the incident was set to be investigated by the stewards after the race.
Rosberg quickly brought himself back into contention but he then suffered a 10 second penalty for contact with Raikkonen while battling over third at Turn 2 late in the race.
The body blow for Hamilton on lap 41 has allowed Rosberg to open up his championship lead to 23 points.
Raikkonen managed to bring the sole Ferrari home in fourth, while Valtteri Bottas progressed from 11th to fifth at the finish for Williams.
Sergio Perez boosted Force India’s points tally in sixth ahead of McLaren’s Fernando Alonso who scythed his way from the back of the grid to seventh.
The top 10 was completed by Nico Hulkenberg (Force India), Jenson Button (McLaren) and Jolyon Palmer, who recorded his maiden points finish for Renault.
Meanwhile, Romain Grosjean joined the list of retirements for the second race in succession when he suffered a brake failure that fired him into the gravel trap at the final corner.
The incident caused the second Virtual Safety Car period of the race.
His team-mate Esteban Gutierrez also failed to finish when he lost his front left wheel in a bizarre incident.
Kevin Magnussen retired his Renault with a mechanical problem along with the Sauber of Felipe Nasr.
Result: Formula 1 Malaysian Grand Prix
|1||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||56 Laps|
|2||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||+2.44s|
|6||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||+1:03.79|
|8||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||+1:14.06|
|11||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||+1:38.87|
|12||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber/Ferrari||+1 Lap|
|13||Felipe Massa||Williams/Mercedes||+1 Lap|
|14||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||+1 Lap|
|15||Pascal Wehrlein||Manor/Mercedes||+1 Lap|
|16||Esteban Ocon||Manor/Mercedes||+1 Lap|